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Dec 14, 2022

Human Rights and Use of Force Curriculum for Police Officers.

Police intake one hundred and ninety-six is making history by becoming the first cohort to receive structured training in human rights and the use of force. The Human Rights and Use of Force Curriculum has been under development for some time. It was officially launched today at the National Police Training Academy where the course work will be first implemented. Through the course, intake one hundred and ninety-six will gain a greater understanding of their responsibility to protect and preserve the human rights of all Belizeans. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

Kareem Musa

“Laddie Gillett, Alison Major, Derrick Uh, there is an internet docu-series from Vice where they took six ex inmates and a had them rank themselves guessing who sevred the most time in jail. An interesting discussion between the participants was how dehumanizing their time in prison was. One participant claimed that being able to wear shoes of his choosing was the one thing that made hime feel the most like a human, just wearing shoes.”


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The Belize Police Department today launched its Human Rights and Use of Force Curriculum for Intake one ninety-six at the National Police Training Academy.


DCP Bart Jones

DCP Bart Jones, Commander, Research, Planning Legal Affairs & Compliance Branch

“The new human rights and use of force policy incorporates our related polices that are inside the policies and procedural manuals such as bias free policing, the code of conduct, the LGBTI policies, sexual harassment, anti-corruption and recording of public recording of police activities to name a few. We simultaneously developed the fundamental communication material, including the handbook which will be issued to all current and new police officers. Following the development of the curriculum several officers were trained in the new curriculum and will today receive their certificates. They are now charged with the responsibility of cascading this training to the rank and file of the department.”


Chester Williams, the Commissioner of Police reminded the young recruits that while the Constitution of Belize empowers police officers with the authority to restrain a person, that power must not be employed arbitrarily. This is the basis of the new curriculum.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

Chester Williams

“As a police department we are empowered by law with the right to restrain people to take away persons freedom of movements as guaranteed by section four of the Belize Constitution. You will know the constitution speaks to the right to personal liberty. But, while the constitution gives us that authority it outlined the circumstances when we as police officers can lawfully take away that right from an individual. But not because we are so empowered it means that we must exercise such power arbitrarily. To whom power is given it is always expected that such power will be exercised in a reasonable fashion.”


The completion of this professional development training will be equivalent to a social science or human rights course offered by a tertiary education institution in Belize. The course work is also regionally accredited. Doctor Priscilla Brown, the Dean of Academics at the Belize Police Training Academy, shared a few of the goals governing the course.


Dr. Priscilla Brown

Dr. Priscilla Brown, Dean of Academics, Belize Police Training Academy

“Goal one interpret core tenants of the international human rights framework. Goal four, apply professional, social and ethical standards in the practice of the profession about the victims welfare and human rights. Goal five, demonstrate competence and broad understanding and victim welfare of human rights and their effects on the law, administration, and public safety, goal seven, effective policing through compliance at international rights standards, and goal eight, demonstrate respect for human dignity and fundamental human rights.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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